Friday, January 30, 2009

Good Day

Good day, good friends, good wine. Just good.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Congratulations, Fatty

Kaiser has this scale that calculates your BMI, fat percentage, weight, and body water. It's like one of those fortune-telling machines, only the fortune is evil.

I'm thinking about lying when I do my BMI next time. Maybe adding an inch to my height when I enter it in will make all the difference in the world. It's not that bad, but it bugs me because I feel good about my size, fitness, etc until I calculate these things. My BMI is always high. And since high school I don't look like I weigh a lot for my height, but I am always heavier than girls of similar build. I think I must have a 23 pound spleen. Yeah, my spleen. That's the ticket...

Today I also found out I have 24.1% body fat. Weird. Also, what's the point of body water percentage? And the whole concept of body water makes me wonder if that percentage would be swayed if, say, I had a full bladder... WELL!!!?!?! These are the kind of things I wonder about, okay? Yes, I am a child. I'm not hiding it. But I mean, since I had to use the restroom then I should have gotten a do-over because all that water weight counted against me in the grand total. Laugh it up... you know you think about these things too. I'm gonna drink a Big Gulp and try again.

I am also convinced that Kaiser exists in a state of heightened gravity. It's like Neptune. Or Jupiter. (I just had to look up which heavenly bodies have the strongest gravity. Didn't just know that in my head. Hey, apparently on the sun I'd weigh 4060 pounds! Also, I'd be dead before I could be "on" the sun. So there's that. Crackle, crackle, crackle...POOF!) At home I generally weigh a good 8 or 9 pounds less than I do at any doctor's appointment on the same day. I can walk in feelin' super fly but once that red number pops up I start glancing around nervously to make sure no one walking by in the halls can see it. I have to fight to keep my hands at my side and not cover the display. EVERY FREAKING TIME. Step on up Partington... try your luck. I won't burn you again. Lies, all lies, you Siren.

Kaiser scale, I will beat you. Just as soon as I finish this bag of Kettle Potato chips.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cat macros and my two monkeys

I am so stir crazy tonight that I am giving myself little assignments. One of these was to take pictures of my bedroom so I could a) blog about how I need to paint it and b) try to think of some things I could do with said bedroom. It's the last part of my house that isn't finished and it totally bugs me. Here's one pic... more about it to come. You can see it's a sad, sad room. Needs some help. No, I didn't even make my bed before I took this pic, or kick the cat off (see her ears in the bottom of the shot?). Ooh, and now you know I don't make the bed when I am home sick. *gasp*

I started messing around with the macro setting on my camera, and Marms the 800 year old cat was my test subject. So I present to you..... Cat macros. Poor Marmalade.
But you know who was really interested in having some pictures taken? Yeah. The monkeys.
We took some pictures that were kind of normal... I said kind of...And then we took some pictures of our eyes. Why? Don't ask me questions like that!

Then, we took SILLY pictures... Hank's natural state is with his tongue out.

I loaded them on the computer and then this one hit me right in the face... um, when did this monkey grow up?
Sheesh.

Conan the Questionnairian

Amusing myself on my sick day today by watching Conan O'Brien on Inside the Actor's Studio. I love that show. Always interesting, and only sometimes really funny. (I get it that it isn't supposed to be funny all the time, but those are more entertaining to watch.) Conan was one of the really funny ones, although it escapes me how he is considered a "how do you say? ...ah, yes... Actor". Whatev. He's a riot and he's pretty weird.

Anyhoot, decided it would be fun to answer Lipton's questionnaire as a blog post. Every time I watch the show I think about using it as an introductory assignment at school. (Of course, with changes, since I don't want teenagers telling each other what turns them on... no, no, no. That just won't do!) I never seem to remember that any time other than when I am watching TV though.

Bravo TV, I love you so much I want to marry you and run away with you.

Okay. *deep breath* Here goes.

James Lipton's Questionnaire,
credited to Bernard Pivot

What is your favorite word?

Juxtapostion
(runners up: plethora, cornucopia, lugubrious, ubiquitous, enmity, soporific, squelch)

What is your least favorite word?

Weird
(Hard to spell. I have some kind of mind block about it. Stop laughing. Yeah I'm an English teacher. Deal with it.)

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Smart, self-effacing humor

What turns you off?

Cruelty

What is your favorite curse word?

DAMMIT

What sound or noise do you love?

Kids laughing uncontrollably

What sound or noise do you hate?

Puppies being stepped on

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Writer

What profession would you not like to do?

Nursing, specifically Ob/Gyn post-op (God bless them though!)

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Come on in, we're dancing and we've got all the yarn, paint, and chocolate cake you could want.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Robots in Disguise

Addie, what do you like?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pantoum for Hank

Pantoum for Hank

It’s dinner time and he refuses to eat
the casserole I made. In addition,
he rains apple juice on the carpet
to get under my skin; he relishes each squeeze.

The casserole I made, in addition
to being healthy, is all we have tonight.
Worry is under my skin, relishing the squeeze
of the last week of the month.

But he finds joy in apple juice-rebellion
and launches a secondary attack, discharging casserole
at the counter and my head.
Why?

He launches this secondary attack, discharging the casserole.
He rains apple juice on the carpet.
Why?
It’s dinner time and he refuses to eat.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration according to Addie

Addie: Mom, we have a new president.

Me: I know. Did you watch him at school today?

Ad: yeah. It was his first day.

Me: What was he doing? When you were watching him?

Ad: You know, just...doing stuff. Just being the president.

Me: Well why did you watch him then?

Ad: Because it was his first day. I have a newspaper about it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

From Cousin Meg

She sent this to me last week. It's a goodie.

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...

Isaiah 43: 2, 3

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's all good

Cooking: Tacos with the leftover pork roast from yesterday.

Funny: Addie lost one tooth last weekend, then lost another at school (apparently) yesterday and accidentally ate it.

Tonight: 30 Rock.

Dreading: High School Dance chaperone-age on Saturday. :(

Feeling: SO tired. Wish this week was over already.

Pleased: that today Henry says I'm "his girl."

Wondering: if I can stay awake tonight.

Wanting: January to go away now.

Proud: I finished grading all the timed writes today.

Loving: my newfound confidence in making selfish decisions at work.

Giddy: about being happily surprised by life, every day.

ETA: Tacos became enchiladas. And I cleaned MY ENTIRE HOUSE!!!!! Now I don't have to worry about it all weekend. Finish grades tomorrow, then nothing over my head all weekend. yay!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

irony: incongruity between expectation of a reality, and what actually happens

What I want to do tonight:

  • Go home
  • Sit on couch
  • Nap (for a while)
  • Watch Top Chef
  • Eat a delicious dinner
  • Do several loads of laundry
  • Find my sink under all the dishes
  • Grade a ton of papers
  • Take a hot bath
  • Go to bed early

What I will really end up doing:

  • Go home after I stop at the district office
  • Waste time watching Oprah
  • Waste time on computer
  • Waste more time playing Word Challenge
  • Separate fighting children
  • Distract fighting children
  • Negotiate a cease-fire and subsequent peace treaty between fighting children
  • Break off Optimus Prime's legs when I can't figure out how to transform him correctly
  • Make something great for dinner that the kids won't eat
  • Ignore box of papers that need grading
  • Waste more time because it's only 6:00 and I can't go to bed yet
  • Completely miss the kids' bedtime, then rush to get them to bed quickly
  • Go to bed late then find myself unable to relax or sleep
  • Waste more time watching West Wing re-runs so familiar that I don't even have to face the TV or have my eyes open to follow
  • FINALLY go to sleep about 12

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interruptions

Every time I think about writing something, I'm interrupted. My thought process right now is pretty ADD anyway, so it doesn't take much but just as I clicked on "new post" I heard a call from down the hall--"MOMMY!!!! COME AND WIPE MY BOO-TY!" Yeah, I said booty. This is my reality. Deal with it.

Anyway, I was going to write about interruptions--no, I mean--being creative. Right now I am so NOT creative. I don't know what's going on with me (well, okay that's not really true either. I know. I'm separated and I'm lonely and I'm confused and I'm hopeful but I don't want to be too hopeful or get hurt worse and I'm tired--I'm really tired) but I am having the hardest time creating anything right now. It's tough enough to get an idea for choreography, but the practicality of it is a lot of work, and I have to be really lost in a great piece of music or an idea so much that I won't notice how much hard work it's actually requiring to get it done.

I had to finish two dances this week at school and I know that's not like the Sistine Chapel or anything, but I take that work seriously. I'm lucky to have the creative outlet. I'm just not interested in being creative in that way right now. Creativity is hard to schedule. Usually I will get an idea or a piece of music and I will just carry it in my head with me everywhere I go--I might be standing next to you in line in the grocery store staring at the cover of People Magazine, but really I'm thinking about how to use bodies and space to create something. But that's not happening right now, because my grocery store moments are all filled right now with what ifs about my life.

Those two dances didn't come out so great, but I got them done. Nothing beautiful or unusual or even interesting really happened with them, which is too bad because when I started them I had high hopes and big ideas. That was before life started to become One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and I had an emotional lobotomy. (That sounded better in my head.) Seriously, sometimes I do feel like Mac at the end of that movie (yeah, it's a book too, but I've got a visual here) with the glazed look. Anyway... my dances just were not happening. Much like this post.

I don't know, I'm just feeling agitated lately. Last week I thought I wanted to go to law school. This week I feel like I am done with dance and I need a change. I decided to teach English in the Ag academy and I'm thinking about changing grade levels. I'm done teaching dance at EG. Maybe it's the fact that I am now living in the year where I am going to be 30--and don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to 30, but maybe I need something different at 30 than I needed at 22. I know this is arbitrary, but it feels like people take you seriously at 30. And I'm still all the other ages, just like Rachel. Man, I love "Eleven."

"What they don't understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you're eleven, you're also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don't. You open your eyes and everything's just like yesterday, only it's today. And you don't feel eleven at all. You feel like you're still ten. And you are --underneath the year that makes you eleven." (Sandra Cisneros, "Eleven", from Woman Hollering Creek)



But I feel good about 30. I've been looking forward to 30 for such a long time because it was what I told myself about Eric getting through law school and how hard everything was... if I can just make it to 30, he'll be done with school and life will be good. Well, that's up for discussion, but I feel like it's going to be a good age no matter what. I feel like I have been trying so hard for so long to prove that I was smart and good and capable and now I just feel like I want to just be. It's hard work keeping all that up, and I have what I need to have a good life without killing myself for it.

So in the midst of this excitement and anticipation about a birthday (which hasn't really happened since 21) I am also feeling the need for a change. There are so many things I want to do, and I am looking forward to doing them. I just think I need to change it up. It isn't dance that calls for me right now. I think about writing (not blogs, good stuff!), I think about traveling, and I think about learning something new, and spending more time with my kids. I don't really have a sense of what that's going to look like, I just need something.

It's good. I didn't want to get complacent.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Looking Back

I like to look through my old photos on the computer and try to see what I was doing a year ago on the same date. The closest thing I had from last year was this video of Hank talking about his Legos:



Not too exciting. I'm sad the pirate shirt doesn't fit him anymore though. It was actually Ad's and Eric and I bought it (I think) in Hawaii for her. It's one of my favorite things that both of them have worn.

But I digress... The year before (2007) we were at Lindsey's wedding right around this time. See, I forget what we do and how long it has been. We have a picture of Addie as a flower girl up on the wall at home, but that seems to me like it happened six months ago or something. Time passes so quickly in some ways.

So here are some more lovely pics from that day. :) It was fun.

Aunt Cathy helping Lindz get dressed while Addie looks on...
Addie and cousin Josh dancing on the steps:Hank and Grandpa Ed at the reception (Buddy looks so young!): Me and Addie Roo:

So other than looking at old pictures tonight I'm making salmon stir fry with Korean teryaki sauce (we'll see how that goes) and enjoying some family time. Should be a good start to a good week. Positive thoughts. :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

I really hope so. Someday soon.

Thanksgivings will pour out of the windows;
laughter will spill through the doors.
Things will get better and better.
Depression days are over.
They'll thrive, they'll flourish.
The days of contempt will be over.

~Jeremiah 30:19 (Msg)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Today I need

to be in Hawaii. Not want. Need. Right now. Enough with this weather. Boo!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

In plié, but not in life (yet)

One of the things I heard over and over again as a ballet student was that you never got to a place as a dancer where you were "good enough" or where you mastered an element and could move on. I very clearly remember hearing Mrs. C say that you never get to just coast. "Even professional dancers do pliés and tendus," she'd remind us, "you can always be better than you are. Even at the most basic movements." All I could think was how boring... I want to get to the good stuff. When are we going across the floor?


As a type-A, people-pleasing teenage ballet student, I hated that. It made me feel like I was never good enough and I wasn't going to be. I'd really beat myself up about it. I mean, tell me what to do and I will do it. I want to master things. I want to take care of business and then move on and move up. I missed the message that what's important is that you're always working. It doesn't mean you're bad because you're not there yet. In fact what happens while you keep trying at something is that you get much better that you ever thought you could be.

Before marriage, life, kids, I'd say my view of life was this: There are good people and bad people. I don't want to be one of the bad ones. Seriously. I know it's lame. Stop laughing. Every decision made on the basis of trying to make the right choice and not be "bad." It's laughable and impossible, I know. I'm a little bit better at grey area now, but not as much as I'd like to be. I'd say I've grasped the concept as it applies to dance, imparting the same message to my students all the time (I find Mrs. C's words coming out of my mouth frequently when I teach), but today I was smacked in the face with the reality that I don't give myself the same freedom to be "in progress" in the rest of my life.

Particularly when it comes to worry.

I am a world class worry-holic. You know what people say to you when you worry? Don't. That's sooooooooooooo helpful. I have come to this conclusion. If you're not a worrier, you have no problem stopping because you never really worried in the first place. Those are the people who read "consider the flowers of the field" and they go oh, of course. I don't need to worry because God takes care of everything. The end. What's for dinner?

You know what I do? I worry, and then when people tell me that worrying is just bad, I worry about worrying because I know I shouldn't be. (I even remember somebody telling me once that it was a SIN to worry. Talk about messing somebody like me up!) I worry myself into a tizzy over the fact that I worry. I'm really good at it. People used to tell me I just worried because I was young. Then I got older and what do you know, it was still happening.

So about two years ago I decided I better "cure" myself of this or I wasn't going to be able to function. Counseling works. I'm not going to lie. It helps. But the thing is that you (or I, rather) can't afford to have someone follow you around every day and work out your problems. Sleep is a good one--it's impossible to worry when you sleep, but let me tell you, when that wears off the same things are just there waiting for you. Any-hoo, the point is that I got better at controlling it, and I convinced myself that I had mastered it. Wrong!

A few months ago I was talking to a friend about how I get so confident that I am going to pray about the things that are bothering me, let them go, and not worry about them, and then I find myself picking up the same worry the next day, or the next hour, or the next minute. She reminded me about the verse that says "cast your cares upon the Lord" and that sometimes we do cast our cares, but we immediately reel them back in and try to control them again. I hadn't thought about it that way. It's an interesting way to look at it. This was really helpful to me to think about--cast it away and let it lie. Let it go.

What happens to me always, as is inevitable, is that I fail at it. I'll be doing really well and then I will take on the worry all over again. And the hardest part--the WORST thing--for me is that I know that I know better. I beat myself up over the fact that I haven't mastered that part of myself. (That old world view creeps back in--black and white, good and bad.) I will tell myself that I am smart, reasonable, capable, but I can't make myself stop worrying. And the cycle starts all over again.

So what hit me today was this: why would I allow myself the freedom to keep working at something as a dancer and not as a human being? It's a daily challenge. Being "in-progress" is not bad. I have to keep working at it. I'm not going to master it. There isn't going to be a time in life where I get to stop working on myself and just admire my perfection and completion. I don't get to coast. But hopefully if I continue to work at it, good things will happen that I never even considered.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Secret Dancing

I've been avoiding even looking at the pictures in my camera from Christmas. I think I was afraid that there would be a picture of me in the background on Christmas morning looking pitiful and I know how much effort it took for me to not break down that day. And I know I've been not bringing cameras anywhere I go with conscious effort because I don't want a visual record of how much I struggle all the time right now.

But anyway, tonight I decided that I'd check out what I had on the ol' memory card because it's good for me, and I found something I had already forgotten.

Right before we left for Grandma Lila's on Christmas Eve, I heard the kids laughing and dancing in the front room. I ran out and managed to get ONE picture of them before they got embarrassed and wouldn't do it anymore. But I thought they were so appropriately dressed for the occasion and they were trying to be so formal. Ad had on a bracelet, a fancy gown, and her handbag was slung over her shoulder. (The whole handbag thing with her is a topic for another post.) Henry in his vest and tie? To die for.

*breaks from posting to kiss Henry's finger because he STAPLED it*

Speak of the devil... found this one in there too.


My little man. He helped me make a casserole tonight and redeem myself after last night's crap-tastic black bean soup. He wouldn't eat the casserole, but I thought it was nice he helped cook.

These guys crack me up.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Black Bean Memorial

Tonight I had to commute home from the Sac State area and I was really reveling in my little drive. I was writing in my head as I was driving (GEEZ, I am such a geek!), composing this poignant little vignette about my drive home, about that thing that happens to you when you sit down for the last time before you get to go home for the night.

You know, the way you're fine all day and then suddenly you're 15 minutes from your front door and your body just gives up and settles down into a pitiful puddle in the pockets of your jeans? Tonight, my hair decided to uncurl just as the knots in my neck finished rolling themselves up, my face was a sad mess of greasy makeup, and my eyelids weighed 400 pounds each. I think my left shoulder fell off. How does your body know? If I would have had to stay out two hours longer, it would have held out, then it would have been the same sad display at 7:30 rather than 5:30.

But by the time I got home I was on to bigger and better things. I kept writing in my head (it was much better than the weak attempt above--pinky swear) and as I pulled into my driveway in a state of complete agitation (why is it that what accompanies that end-of-the day state is an almost bone-grinding need to change into sweats and get my shoes off ten minutes ago?) I was musing about my dinner and how amazing--nay--thoughtful and diligent with my planning I had been this morning because I put on a pot of black bean and ham soup so I'd come home to a warm house and a hot meal without having to lift a finger.

Do you see where this is going?

In fact, my brilliance wasn't just in putting it in the crock pot this morning, it was in planning my meals for the week Sunday night, making the soup, separating it into plastic bags and freezing it.

Well, so much for that. In-freaking-edible. I nuked that soup and I nuked it good. I don't mean microwaving. All that was left was this sick looking pile in the bottom of the crock pot. Nary a drop of moisture to be found. I guess dividing it in half was a mistake. I guess setting the crock pot for 8 hours when I really left it on for 11 wasn't good. All I really had to do was heat the STUPID soup up on the stove. So much for planning.

If you're going to ruin a meal, I suggest that it's full of black beans so it looks like some kind of charred remains. It was glorious. Glorious.

...

My thought for today (unrelated, BTW): I need to stop looking for the answer. It isn't mine to figure out anyway. I can't figure it out just by thinking really hard. I am not in control.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

You know what one of the worst things about being alone in a house is?

You can't be funny. I miss the challenge of trying to make someone laugh. Nobody to laugh at your lame jokes or goofy dancing or give you that look if you didn't quite hit the mark.

Yeah, friends are cool for doing stuff, but I need a full-time audience so I can try out my material.

One hour and ten minutes until the kids get home...

I always stop at stop signs.

Always.

Not because anybody is watching me, or I might get a ticket, but seriously, how are you gonna not stop? How could I expect other people to stop for me, my kids, my dogs, if I didn't stop myself? So I have this to say to the dude with two kids in the back of his light blue Explorer turning right from Springhurst on to North Camden at approximately 10:30 this morning who did not even pretend to slow down:

You suck.

I'm sure you want people to stop for your kids if they're playing in the street and not paying attention. I'm sure you'd be upset with a ticket. You should be ashamed of yourself. I know I'm not perfect--soooo far from it (and I feel it's worth mentioning here that awesomeness does not necessitate perfection)--but that just ain't cool. Stop signs are awesome. Stopping is awesome.

Rant over. Now for something completely different.

The sun is shining and everything seems kind of sparkly and beautiful today. Perhaps it's all in my overwrought little brain, or maybe all the frost from last night melted and there's a gleam. Either way, it reminded me of this song by Iona that I first heard at improv at Ballet Mag in Mississippi in 1999 and later danced to at OTDC. Appropriate, no?

...
{Today}

Today the grass is greener
Than I have ever seen
Today the sky is bluer
Than it has ever been
And today my heart is beating
Like I've never felt it beat
And today flowers are growing
From the ground beneath my feet

Today my hope is stronger
And the vision's clearer
To walk in love eternal
The path that takes me nearer

And to You the music's playing
Like it has never done
And to You my feet are dancing
Underneath the sun

In You I live
In You I live
In You I live and breathe
...

It's going to be a beautiful year.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Gratitude... the socially acceptable 'tude

It ain't Thanksgiving, but I'm going to go ahead and be thankful today for some of the wonderful people and things in my life. I know it's already been established that I'm awesome, but that has to come from somewhere, right? I am blessed. Even in great heartache, there is beauty and there are things to appreciate. I've been moved to tears over the break more times than I should or could count. Here are some of the good ones from this Christmas, enumerated in no particular order. So don't go getting all panties-in-a-bunch-y if the order is not to your liking. I love you all. The end.

1. Caleb. That's right, Caleb. I am thankful for Caleb this Christmas. Little forehead-bashing, LCD TV-smashing nephew, CJ with that giant grin. Last week we went to the Train Museum with Lis and my mom and the boys and Caleb could not have been more excited. It reminded me that when Henry was 2, the whole train thing began. Something is just so pure and touching about seeing a kid in a situation where you know that this is IT for them--I mean the be-all-and-end-all--and that at that moment nothing could be better. It felt the same when Addie met the princesses at Disneyland the first time. Caleb made me wish that more adults were able to immerse themselves completely in that kind of happiness, if only for an afternoon. What is that bliss, for me?

2. Henry's sense of humor. Henry is on the verge--he's a boy about to become a man... okay, not really. But he's in a transformational phase where he gets the jokes around him and he's trying to jump in where he can. Probably the things that send me into hysterics are only funny to a mom, but it's not just the joke, it's the effort. Last night E was here and Ad was showing him her new Wii Princess game. It opened in this forest scene that looked like her old Winnie the Pooh game, so I said "Ad, where's Pooh Bear?" and E said "Yeah, where's Robin Hood?" and Henry looked at us and said "Yeah, Ay-ad, where's Thomas?" See, that's not really funny but he gets that humor is the currency of family conversation, and he's taking little steps. I love it. Plus the other night he put his arm around me and said "Mom, you're my girl."

3. My dear, sensitive, brilliant little Addie Roo. Ad is not how I thought she'd be, based on her first several years of wanting to be the center of attention and talking to everyone in the room. Hard to say if it comes from recent difficult events or a predisposition to be shy in school (yeah, that one's mine) but she has become so quiet and occasionally the world is too much for her. I am thankful though, because along with her shyness comes an acute sense of other peoples' feelings, fairness, sharing, and love. She's obsessed with animals right now, and she somehow went from learning letters last year in kindergarten to reading anything and everything she gets her hands on. I am in awe, and I claim no responsibility. The help I could offer ran out a long time ago. Teachers work miracles at the Elementary school level. Ad is proof.

4. Family at Christmas. No muss, no fuss. You're here, I'm here, let's just enjoy the day. Mom and Dad also saw that Santa visited at their house and left me a little something because they knew he might skip me this year.

5. Old friends. Not chronologically, though one could admit my friendships tend to span quite a range. Old friendships that I let go and have regained. There's a blessing that comes from someone who knows your history. Many of these friends have been reminding me who I was before I stopped trying to be about anything. Old friendships hold a mirror up that helps you to see the value you had in the first place. And as I write this, I'm glad for my "old(er)" friends too. New friendships with people at all stages of life have also been good to me and helped me to think about the choices I have left and what lies ahead of me. It's all good stuff.

6. People who have no obligation to do so, but care about me anyway. This list is long. Christmas cards from Aunties who will miss me at Christmas, E's cousins posting on my Facebook account, April and Linda treating exactly as before--and in fact caring about me quite generously, Carlos almost killing himself to get my lights up in the rain, Kitty taking me to the movies so I don't sit in my house and fade away into nothing, The whole Martinez family making me feel welcome (always) when I have nowhere to go and for not letting me be home alone on Christmas, and my bestie for making me a blanket full of love so I'd have a hug even when I was home by myself.

Life is hard, but there is so much goodness in it.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein:
then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice. ~Psalm 96: 11-12
That's what we need, more gratitude from trees!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Blog-o-RAMA 2.0

It's 2009. Big whoop. It didn't even feel strange to write it on checks. This is probably one of the worst days I've had in a string of not-so-hot days where getting out of bed and taking a shower was something I could barely muster. So hey--why not start a blog again?

I think it was exactly this time last year that I started blogging. For some reason--maybe I have a narcissistic desire for others to read my thoughts, or maybe I have too many thoughts to keep them all in my head--I felt like starting one up again. No good reason. This is exactly the time when you'd think I wouldn't want anyone to read my junk. Yet, here I go writing it all down and formatting a page, hoping someone will read what I have to say. Thus is the curse of the too-eager English student who never got over wanting to write, and write too much. Don't care. I yam what I yam. And in a nice way, I am becoming the stereotype of my generation--the annoyingly snobbish labeling of anyone under 30 as "Millennial" and self-obsessed. Okay. But if you think that, then you shouldn't be reading a blog anyway.

Well first thing's first. As of today, it's been almost three months since Eric left. This has pushed me beyond what I ever thought I could do (or should do), it's helped me to learn that I don't have to define my self-worth through someone else's vision of me, and it's helped me really, really think about who I am and who I was and what I want to be and all those other things that you're supposed to think about when you're already an adult who owns a house and two dogs and has been working at a respectable career for quite some time, thank you very much. I'm not going completely Hamlet over anything, but it's made me stop. So much of life for me has been just "getting through" until the next stage. I haven't been all about the journey. So here I stop (not by choice, mind you) and I am forced to examine this moment and exactly who I am.

In some ways, I'm really proud of myself. I think I disguise it well, but in reality I am (was?) a pretty big baby before this all happened to me.* I didn't live on my own, didn't pay my own bills, didn't change batteries in things, none of that. I never had to. So I suppose there's that. Again, big whoop. On the other hand though this has been a pretty big wake-up call for me that I am not an alone kind of person. I need people, and I especially need a male person who lives in my house. For this reason (and the BRUTAL reality of sitting alone on my couch most of Christmas day, paralyzed by shock/sadness/reality and the simple pain that came from the fact that I married for life and I still can't find my way out of that) I still have so many unanswered questions about my marriage.

*Side note: It didn't happen to me, it is my life. That's part of this whole owning it thing.

I'm not pretending things were good, only saying in the past few days I have been really feeling like I need to pray about my marriage (we're still married, technically) and... well, no "and." Just that. Pray about my marriage and pray that I can hear whatever I am supposed to hear while I am stopped dead in my tracks and then follow the right path forward.

Things this whole big pile of crap of a separation has made me think about:

1. I love my children. Man, I love that little dude and dudette. I am completely unbiased when I say they are the best thing that ever happened to anybody on the earth, ever. Really.
2. God's there. I didn't really look for a long time because looking means really owning up to what your life is about, but He was there. He has been so good to me through all of this.
3. I have lots and lots of people who love me. They always say "I wish I knew how to fix this for you" and they look at me with that scared/loving/sad face, but what they don't know is that just by being there for me, they build me up and they make me feel the grace of God every day.
4. For a long time, I let a lot of relationships go because I was really hurting, and it was easier to not see people. I let a lot of myself go too. I didn't look for the things that brought me joy. I wasn't really about anything.
5. I gave too much of myself at work and didn't give enough to my family. I didn't do any of that on purpose--I was trying to help by working, paying bills, etc, etc, etc. As I am forced to stand here in my own rotten mess of a situation, I don't have any choice but to make my life completely about my family (whatever that looks like). For this reason, work has become really hard and not a place I want to be at all. That's okay. It just means I have some redefining to do.
6. I don't care what people think. People just don't know, anyway.

Okay, I think this is a lot to plunk down for day one.